More than a third of new GCSE and A-level qualifications that will be taught from September have not yet been approved, with less than a term to go, figures from exams watchdog Ofqual show. Just 65 per cent of the new specifications have been accredited, leaving many – including most French, German and Spanish AS levels and A levels – waiting to be given the go-ahead. Of 70 new AS and A levels, 39 have been accredited, as have 63 of the 86 new GCSE specifications. Teachers are concerned about the lack of preparation time. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL teaching union,
told TES: “The situation gets more serious and more ridiculous as each week goes by.”
Most young people who do not follow the traditional academic route into work are being let down by the education system, a House of Lords report concludes. The 53 per cent of school leavers who opt not to go to university or do A levels are often allowed to “drift” into their first job or further education with no real prospect of progression, the House of Lords committee on social mobility finds. It also says that the national curriculum should finish at 14, allowing students time to focus on a career before they leave school.
Pupils will now be able to pass GCSE drama without going to see live theatre, under new guidelines issued by exam boards. Syllabuses laid out by AQA and OCR say that teachers will be able to show their pupils a recording of a play instead. They argue that the move will ensure all pupils can access productions “regardless of the constraints of affordability or geographical accessibility”. But theatre groups have said that it will become harder for teachers to make the case to senior management for taking pupils on theatre trips.